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Pandora’s Box

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine

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Pandora’s Box

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
In the history of the world according to Greek mythology, the first woman was Pandora, not Eve. Commanded by Zeus, Hephaestus created Pandora by combining earth and water (two elements that have been identified with the feminine in part due to this tale). The woman was named Pandora, all-gifted, because the gods of Mount Olympus gathered to bestow many of their gifts upon Hephaestus' creation. Aphrodite, a talent for music by Apollo and a godly talent for persuasion by Hermes, gave her beauty, and more. She was, in all ways, endowed to be the perfect woman.

Pandora lived an idyllic existence amongst the gods until the Titan Prometheus defied Zeus by stealing fire from the gods and giving it to man. The Titan cared for man more than the rule of the gods. Zeus, however, was not known for his forgiveness and planned to use Pandora to exact his revenge.

He gave Pandora to Prometheus' brother, Epimetheus (in Greek mythology, the twin brothers were the curators of man). While Prometheus possessed foresight and forward thinking, his twin was slow, and foolish. Epimetheus was delighted with Pandora, who by all accounts was a spectacular woman. But before she left Olympus, Zeus presented her with the most exquisite jar to take away with her, but he admonished her to not open it under any circumstances.

Pandora and Epimetheus lived happily together and shared one child. Loyal and kind, Pandora had promised not to look in the box, but her curiosity, a gift from one of the gods, was so great, that she could not help but take a peek inside. When the lid was lifted, the world of Prometheus' beloved man fell victim to all the evils of the world. She rushed to seal the lid once more, but it was too late, all but hope had escaped.

Pandora's act assured Zeus of complete vengeance on Prometheus by harming the humans that he so adored. Devastated by her own failure, Pandora begged for and received absolution, because Zeus had always intended for her to open the box. Compelled by her own complicity in man's misery, Pandora later released the hope that remained in the box.

The tale of Pandora's Box shares a reflexive view of man's condition, like Eve in the Garden of Eden, Pandora is compelled by her own curiosity to learn, this need to know releases darkness and pain into paradise. The phrase "opening Pandora's box" has come to mean opening oneself up to untold trouble and disaster.

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